ISLAMABAD - Newly-elected Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf formally took over his office following a guard of honor ceremony held at the Prime Minister’s House on Saturday.
A reception was held at the PM’s House, where Raja was presented the guard of honour by the armed forces to welcome him. He was introduced to the staff and other senior officials of the PM’s House after which he left for his office.
Earlier on Friday, Raja along with his 38-strong federal cabinet took oath at the Presidency. In an august ceremony attended by the chiefs of the three armed forces, President Asif Ali Zardari administered oath to Raja and his cabinet consisting of 27 federal ministers and 11 state ministers.
Meanwhile, all the 38 federal and state ministers along with three advisors to the PM were allotted their previous slots of ministries and divisions, which they had in the cabinet of Yousaf Raza Gilani. According to an official notification, three advisors to the prime minister include Rehman Malik, Dr Asim Hussian and Dr Paul Bhatti. Rehman Malik has become the senior adviser to the prime minister on interior, Dr Asim Hussain for petroleum, and Dr Paul Bhatti for religious harmony.
The new federal ministers, Chaudhry Pervez Elahi has been given the status of senior minister and assigned the ministries of Defence Production and Industries; Farzana Raja as federal minister and chairperson for the Benazir Income Support Programme; Makhdoom Amin Fahim as commerce minister; Arbab Alamgir as minister for telecommunication; Hina Rabbani Khar as foreign minister; Nazir M Gondal as minister for capital administration and development; Rana M Farooq Saeed as minister for climate change; Naveed Qamar as defence minister; Abdul Hafeez Sheikh as finance minister; Qamar Zaman Kaira as information minister ; Meer Hazer Khan Bajhrani as minister for inter-provincial coordination; Mian Manzoor Wattoo as minister for Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan affairs; Farooq H Naik as minister for law and parliamentary affairs; Farooq Sattar as minister for overseas Pakistanis; Haji Khuda Bux Rajad as minister for anti-narcotics; Firdous Aashiq Awan as minister for national regulation and services; Samina Khalid as minister for national heritage; Israrullah Zehri as minister for food security; Babar Ghori as minister for ports and shipping; Sardar Umar Gurgaig as minister for postal services; Moula Bux Chandio as minister for political affairs; Haji Ghulam Ahmed Bilor as minister for railways; Khursheed Shah as minister for religious affairs; Changaz Khan Jamali as minister for science and technology; Shaukatullah as minister for state affairs; and Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar as minister for water and power. Former candidate for prime minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin has been given the ministry of textiles, which he previously held in Gilani’s cabinet.
Among the ministers for state, Abbas Khan Afridi was assigned the portfolio of trade; Dost M Mazari, telecommunication; Sardar Saleem Haider, defence; Malik Hammad Khan, foreign affairs, Sayeed Samsam Bukhari, information and broadcasting; Chaudhry Imtiaz Safdar Wadaich, interior; Malik Azmat Khan, inter-provincial coordination; Moazzam Ali Khan Gootway, food security; Rahila Baloch, science and technology; and Dr Nadeem Ahsan, overseas Pakistanis.